Pastor's Corner

28 Aug
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Mid- Week Challenge

“Do as I say, not as I do!”  Did you grow up hearing that phrase from a parent or adult authority? If so, you probably could not wait until you became an adult so you too could use that phrase on a subordinate.  Like it or not, if you are over 40, if you had this discipline in your life you probably turned out okay and found yourself using some form of phrase in your attempt to lead the next generation.  What you discovered trying to raise your own family is that your parents were trying to figure out raising kids and navigating life as they were raising you just as you are right now.  There is no “how to guide” to perfection.  It’s a learning process with many bumps in the road.  Somewhere along the way the desire to become more “progressive” in child rearing and society building caused many in our community to take a hands off approach to parenting and allow their children to figure out life on their own.  The idea was that if I don’t have it figured out why should I force my beliefs on my son or daughter.  That’s a great way to gain a following, but a horrible way to raise children.  That’s the discovery of a Wall Street Journal article released over the weekend. 

The values that Americans say define the national character are changing, as younger generations rate patriotism, religion and having children as less important to them than did young people two decades ago.  Twenty-one years ago a survey revealed that Americans believe strongly in the principles of hard work, patriotism, commitment to religion, and the goal of having children. When the same survey was conducted recently, it found that “religion, belief in God” was valued by 67 percent of older adults (ages fifty-five to ninety-one) but only 30 percent of young adults (ages eighteen to thirty-eight). Patriotism values ranged from 79 percent for older adults to 42 percent for young adults. Having children ranged from 54 percent for older adults to 32 percent for young adults. One of the pollsters who conducted the report noted: “There’s an emerging America where issues like children, religion and patriotism are far less important. And in America, it’s the emerging generation that calls the shots about where the country is headed.” 

Why the drop off and dramatic change?  I believe it has to do with the way we were raised and the way parents are raising children today.  The “do as I say” generation, at one point, never had the statement followed up with, “here’s why.” If you don’t explain the why there will never be a desire to learn the how! The moment you are freed from the “have to” there will be no “want to.”  And that is the sad reality of where we are in our culture today.  It is not that our young leaders are slower, less involved or disinterested; in fact, they are much more engaged in obtaining knowledge and skill than in previous generations.  The problem is they have not been taught why contemporary values are important and the pros and cons of worldly behavior.  They have to experience failure on their own and when it occurs, in some cases, it is too late to correct their path and they sink further into despair and depression.  On top of that there is a sense of resentment for their parents and adult care givers for not warning them of the impending dangers of their choices and lifestyles.  With no base or foundation to fall back on, young people invent their own system of justice and morality.  It makes sense that they want everyone to be included and have their own way but in reality it is not possible.  In the Old Testament book of Judges we are told “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” and we see how that led to destruction and chaos.  Solomon summed it up well when he wrote: When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful. Words alone will not discipline a servant; the words may be understood, but they are not heeded.Proverbs 29:18-19

So in reality, there is a “how to” manual for parents.  God does not expect us to come up with the meaning of life on our own; He gives us the plan and trusts us to make proper application.  The slack in Christian responsibility has now seeped into our culture and transformed our whole way of thought.

You are responsible for those God has put into your scope of influence.  We can’t blame Washington, state government or even the local church.  If you are not taking care of you and yours then you are failing in your duty.  That has an impact on your home but also on your community.  It’s not too late to make a difference.   

Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies.  Exodus 32:25

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan


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